Tritons Halt Aggies In WWPA Title Game

Junior Chris Richardson (above) and senior Bernie Rogers made the all-tournament first team for UC Davis.
(Wayne Tilcock, Davis Enterprise)

Nov. 24, 2013

DAVIS, Calif. - Sophomore Chase Cockerill and junior David Higginson each scored two goals while tournament MVP Cameron Ravanbach tallied 13 saves to lead 10th-ranked and second-seeded UC San Diego to a 6-4 win over 11th-ranked and top-seeded UC Davis in the Western Water Polo Association men's championship game Sunday afternoon at Schaal Aquatics Center.

Santa Clara defeated Loyola Marymount by a 12-7 final in Sunday's third-place contest while Air Force opened the day with a 15-9 victory over Cal Baptist for fifth place in the conference. The Tritons, winner of the second WWPA title in three years, earn the conference's automatic berth in the National Collegiate Championship, held at Stanford on Dec. 7-8.

The Aggies, who looked for their first conference title in 16 years, were held to just 4-for-32 shooting. Junior Trevor Allen, freshman Zoltan Lozar, sophomore Austin Beckwith and senior Bernie Rogers each scored one goal for UC Davis.

Allen drew first blood in the game, converting a Rogers assist to complete a power play just three minutes into the game. Cockerill answered with a counterattack lob to equalize two minutes later, launching what would become a 5-1 run for UCSD. The Tritons held a close 3-2 edge at the halftime break but pulled ahead to 6-2 after the third quarter. Higginson scored two goals in the third, hitting a long bomb from some seven meters out within a minute after the break, then completing a power play on a skip shot midway through the frame.

UC Davis struggled to produce at two meters, as the Tritons dropped effectively on junior Teddy Nicholson and freshman Max Vigeant throughout the contest. The Aggies found their stride with a pair of goals in the fourth. Beckwith opened the final period with a skip shot under Ravanbach's arm, and Rogers later scored on a 6-on-5 chance to cut the Triton lead to two.



Goalkeeper Philip Bates also kept UC Davis in the game during the final quarter, notching two saves and two steals in front of the cage. However, Ravanbach held off the Aggies' emerging shooting. Had five saves in the final period despite the glare of defending the facility's north goal, and UCSD held on for the win.

In addition to Ravanbach, UC San Diego claimed three players on the all-tournament team. Higginson and Tommy Friedrich made the first team while Joe Dietrich made the second team. For UC Davis, Rogers and Chris Richardson earned first-team distinction while Bates garnered a second-team nod.

Goalie Matt Pritchett tallied 16 saves and utility James Rude performed a hat trick to help third-seeded Santa Clara to a 12-7 win over fourth-seeded Loyola Marymount in Saturday's third-place game. The Lions suffered a scoring drought of almost 16 full minutes from the first through third quarters, giving up six unanswered goals in that span.

Freshman Cory McGee led LMU with two goals, both in the first quarter to craft a 2-1 start. Freshman Graham McClone hit a 6-on-5 goal from the 2 spot with 2:33 in the first period, tying the score and igniting the Broncos' 6-0 run. SCU led 6-2 at the halftime break, then extended its lead to five on Rude's outside shot with 5:24 left in the third.

Junior attacker Matt Stipanovich ended the Lions' dry spell on the next possession. Joe Ferretti and Seth Coldren each converted power plays for LMU in a four-goal fourth but the Santa Clara lead proved insurmountable. Tempers also got the better of the Lions, who were charged with 11 exclusions, a five-meter penalty, two yellow cards and two game misconducts.

McClone and Patrick Weiss represented the Broncos on the all-tournament first team while Pritchett made the second team. For LMU, goalkeeper Kirk Wilenius and Ferretti captured first- and second-team distinction, respectively.

Senior Josh Stedman scored six goals while sophomore Kevin Womack added another three, helping Air Force ride a 3-0 start and a 7-5 halftime lead to a 15-9 victory over Cal Baptist in Sunday's fifth-place game. Junior driver Cameron Custance led all Lancer players with three goals while goalkeeper Joseph Moorman highlighted CBU with 10 saves.

The Falcons never trailed in the contest, scoring three unanswered in the first four minutes of play thanks to a pair of Dominic Vicino goals. Stedman, who hit a penalty shot in the opening period, hit a natural and a 6-on-5 goal in the second quarter then popped three of his team's six goals in the third.

The Lancers tied the game on three occasions. Senior Trevor Rowland connected on a power play goal from the four spot with a second left in the first, Custance backhanded a 6-on-5 goal early in the second to make it 4-4, then Rowland finished a counterattack to equalize at 5-5 with 4:30 before the break. However, Air Force scored five of the next six through the three-minute mark of the third, two by Stedman.

CBU's Keith Jizmejian and Air Force's Max Reilly each made the all-tournament second team.

Hosted by UC Davis • Schaal Aquatics Center

#6 Cal Baptist (15-17) 3 2 3 1 - 9
#5 Air Force (6-14) 3 4 6 2 - 15

GOALS - CBU: Cameron Custance 3, Trevor Rowland 2, Eric Carnohan 1, Matt Puig 1, Keith Jizmejian 1, Spencer Shore 1. AFA: Josh Stedman 6, Kevin Womack 3, Dominic Vicino 2, Petar Jackovich 2, Max Reilly 1, Andrew Hamilton 1.

GOALIE SAVES - CBU: Joseph Moorman 10 (32:00). AFA: Air Force 6 (32:00).

#4 LMU (13-15) 2 0 1 4 - 7
#3 Santa Clara (18-15) 2 4 3 3 - 12

GOALS - LMU: Cory McGee 2, Matt Stipanovich 1, Matt Cuozzo 1, Seth Coldren 1, Nicholas Zanobini 1, Joe Ferrett 1. SCU: James Rude 3, Graham McClone 2, Patrick Weiss 2, Tucker Carlson 2, Garrat Johnson 1, Theo Nasser 1, Matt Kochalko 1.

GOALIE SAVES - LMU: Kirk Wilenius 6 (26:09), Kyle Etrada 1 (5:51). SCU: Matt Prichett 16 (32:00).

#2 UC San Diego (14-13) 1 2 3 0 - 6
#1 UC Davis (14-13) 1 1 0 2 - 4

GOALS - UCSD: Chase Cockerill 2, David Higginson 2, Matt Michalko 1, Luca DeVivo 1. UC Davis: Trevor Allen 1, Zoltan Lazar 1, Austin Beckwith 1, Bernie Rogers 1.

GOALIE SAVES - UCSD: Cameron Ravanbach 13 (32:00). UC Davis: Philip Bates 8 (32:00).

All-Tournament First Team
Cameron Ravanbach, UCSD (MVP); Tommy Friedrich, UCSD; David Higginson, UCSD; Chris Richardson, UC Davis; Bernie Rogers, UC Davis; Graham McClone, SCU; Patrick Weiss, USC; Kirk Wilenius, LMU.

All-Tournament Second Team
Joe Dietrich, UCSD; Philip Bates, UC Davis; Matthew Pritchett, SCU; Joe Ferretti, LMU; Max Reilly, AFA; Keith Jizmejian, CBU.